Windows Phone 8 introduces a host of new features, including speech synthesis. This is the perfect fit for Microsoft Translator and opens up exciting opportunities for developers as showcased in our November 12 blog post.
In the latest in our series of walkthroughs, we step you through everything you need to do to build a simple translation app that takes your text and translates it into a variety of different languages using the free Microsoft Translator APIs. It then uses the native speech synthesis in Windows 8 to ‘read out’ the translation with the correct pronunciation.
The walkthrough takes you from soup to nuts in signing up for the free service, getting your credentials, installing and configuring the tools, designing, developing and testing your application.
Check it out at:
The full source code for the app is available here:
I wanted to post a quick note welcoming Lane, who will be bringing you updates (more regularly than before) about what’s new and exciting in our team. Welcome Lane!
On that note, Lane and Andrea were at the MSR Silicon Valley Road Show event showing off our products and technology. Robert Scoble from Fastcompany has a video:
While still on the topic of videos – some of you might have missed news coverage from CNET News a little while back. We are covered in the last one and half minutes of this video.
Thanks for the intro, Vikram! I'm the new marketing communications manager for the Machine Translation team in MSR, and I'm really excited to be a part of the team! I'm looking forward to sharing some of the great new improvements to the service that the team is working on, as well as hearing comments from the readers of this blog.
A little background on me: I'm a former techie who's been in the marketing world for the past 4 years (specifically working with Microsoft's OEM partners). Before that I was in grad school for Computer Science at the University of Florida. I'm happy to be working closely with developers again, especially on such a cool product.
As Vikram mentioned, I'm going to start blogging more regularly on behalf of the team. Expect monthly posts, as well as one-off posts as new things come up that I want to share with you.
We have a lot of catching up to do in terms of features that have gone live in the past few months, so expect a busy week of blogging! Looking forward to hearing from all of you!
Simplified Chinese and Spanish General Domain engines complete
Last time I blogged about launching the English to Spanish language pair using our own Microsoft technology - our team has made great progress since then. We've completed the Spanish bidirectional pair with Spanish to English, and launching Simplified Chinese both to and from English. We're going to keep adding languages in the coming months as one of our top priorities, so keep an eye out on this blog for the languages you're most interested in. Let us know in the comments which languages you're looking for!
Coming soon: Windows Live Messenger TBot & Office Integration!
Today Microsoft celebrates the International Mother Language Day alongside UNESCO, with the goal to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism across the world. Advancements in technology to support and preserve languages create greater awareness of the linguistic and cultural traditions celebrated throughout the world, which in turn promote understanding,tolerance and dialogue.
With the proliferation of digital content on the web, mobile devices and desktop applications, there is an increasing demand to communicate and collaborate in multiple languages. Helping enable business, communities, and consumers to communicate and collaborate across language barriers through technology innovation is a core focus for the Microsoft Translator team.
Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of two new officially supported languages: Malay and Urdu. These two languages join the other languages already supported by the Microsoft Translator platform and Bing Translator. Malay is spoken by over 200M people worldwide in countries ranging from Malaysia to Brunei. Urdu is spoken by over 100M people worldwide and is spoken by large populations residing in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and countries in Europe and North America. It is the national language of Pakistan, and the official language of several states in India.
A year ago, on the last International Mother Language Day, we announced the release of Hmong as part of a close engagement between Microsoft and the Hmong community - a small but significant step towards empowering businesses and organizations to tap into the power of Microsoft’s language technology. Like Hmong, the development of Urdu is the result of a community effort shepherded by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi, India) under the leadership of Dr.Girish Nath Jha, and Microsoft, utilizing the powerful Microsoft Translator Hub customization tools.
In addition to the launch of these new languages; we are also rolling out several new improvements to our platform, customization tools and language quality. See the release notes for this release in our forum here.
We have seen some great momentum with both the business and language communities for the Translator Hub. Through the Hub, users are able to bring better and specialized translation quality to established languages, as well as the many native languages of the world that are not yet supported by major translation providers which goes to the core of supporting the goals of Mother Language Day. Urdu is the latest language community benefiting from the availability of the Hub.
Developers and webmasters can begin leveraging these languages today on their sites by installing the Microsoft Translator Widget and users can utilize the collaborative features of the widget to provide alternate translations to improve the translation quality. Additionally, if you are passionate about the community development efforts around Urdu or other languages that we support and want to become involved in the efforts, please contact us.
Commemorating the International Mother Language Day, Microsoft Local Language Program (LLP), also announced the support of 13 extra languages to our range of Language Interface Packs (LIPs), bringing the total number of languages supported by Windows 8 and Office to 108. Learn more at the LLP web site.
- Vikram Dendi, Director of Product Management, Microsoft/Bing Translator